My College:
Student Life

Dorm Room Ideas for Guys

Ianni Le

My list of priorities for my freshman dorm was vastly different from those of my guy friends. Though we needed the same basics, I was less concerned about having a TV or proper computer setup than I was about decorating my dorm walls and making sure I had a sufficient stash of snacks.

Here are cool room ideas for college guys as well as a dorm room checklist for guys inspired by what my friends loved about their dorm rooms!

Dorm Room Basics

Your dorm room should be your sanctuary, hang out spot, sleeping area, and study space all in one! Here are a few basics to keep on hand to help accomplish this:

bedding is a dorm room basicBedding: College dorm room staples are pretty straightforward for bedding, you should have two sets of sheets so you’ll have an extra set just in case, a mattress topper to help you customize your dorm room mattress and your preferred kinds of pillows. Most of my friends also had body pillows for either personal use or to help turn the dorm bed into a comfortable hang out area.

Closet organization: Any preferred type of closet organizer can be super helpful to have in the dorm, but if you’re worried you’ll run out of space, these space saving hangers can help you optimize your closet space! Over the door organizers are also perfect for storing hats, shoes, or sports gear for the outdoors!

Laundry: Invest in a sturdy laundry hamper, because everyone hates doing laundry. And what could be more efficient than a laundry hamper that can help you haul a whole month’s (or two) worth of dirty laundry to and from the laundry room? One of my guy friends started college with a standard collapsible hamper, but found it impossible to haul all his dirty clothes and bedding to the laundry room. After a few months of trying to cram too many things into the mesh hamper, it started to tear leaving a small trail of socks and clothes everywhere he tried to take it. He switched a truly massive heavy duty one with handles that he loved and later used as an extra box on move out day.

Dorm Room Food Needs

Plates, cups, utensils: It’s important to have the basics even if you have a meal plan or a very minimal set up in the dorm. Late night meals are a staple for all college students (and pretty much everyone, let’s face it), so make sure to get some microwave-safe basics! If you live for your morning cup of coffee or tea, consider bringing a thermos along as well. Or, if you love protein shakes or smoothies, make sure to bring along a blender or a protein shaker bottle.

Snacks: My favorite dorm rooms to hang out in were the ones with snacks. I’m an avid snacker personally, so I always had a stash of snacks to share when people came over. But one of my guy friends kept an even bigger snack stash than I did hidden under his bed (his parents also mailed him a regular supply). He loved to watch people’s reactions when he pulled out a bag of snacks (you could have fit a whole person in this bag) in response to anyone saying “I’m kind of hungry.”

He had everything from instant ramen noodles, cookies, chips, crackers, and more for himself and anybody who came over. As you can imagine, his dorm room was very popular amongst our friends.

Dorm Bath Essentials

Shower necessities: Definitely invest in a sturdy pair of shower shoes to last you through the year (and help you go from the shower straight to class if needed), and you’ll also need a shower caddy to help you carry everything back and forth! Don't forget to stock up on towels as well. And of course, it's always nice to have a fluffy robe or a towel that wraps around the waist for going to and from the bathroom!

Robes are also a perfect addition to your pajamas for any late night hangouts, and we all lived in ours during the winter. They're perfect for chilly treks from dorm to dorm!

Grooming: Rooster Essentials is a fun fully customizable subscription that will send you a huge variety of different grooming products, making it perfect for any guy’s dorm room. You can decide how often you’d like specific products sent to you, and order anything from hair care and shaving to beard care and first aid. There’s nothing worse than running out of hair wax, toothpaste or razors when you really need them!

Dorm Room Accessories for Guys

Lighting: Fun lighting is an easy way to personalize your space and create a variety of different environments within your room. These self adhesive light strips are easy to put up and take down, plus they have a variety of different colored lighting options!

Seating: Whether you’re an avid gamer, reader, or simply spend a lot of time at your desk, why not invest in a nice office/gaming chair? They do wonders for your posture as well as make a much more comfortable study environment for those late night cram sessions. I initially thought most of my friends were crazy for buying nice office chairs for the dorms, but I was quickly proved wrong when they kept their chairs throughout all of college. I was left deeply regretting not having bought one for myself every late night spent in front of my computer.

Decorations: Make sure to bring along your favorite decor items from home, and take to the internet or your local poster store in your college town for some new pieces! Use Command hooks or strips to hang guitars, sports gear, or other things based on your hobbies and interests! My floormate, Thomas, brought his collection of handmade bowties to display above his bed because they reminded him of different high school dances and events.

Entertainment: Bring along your favorite board games or video game console for game nights! For even greater flexibility in your gaming experience, why not pick up a projector instead of a TV? Projectors will take up less space in your dorm and make it easy to pick up and move game night or movie night anywhere you’d like. They’ll connect to any video game console, computer, or phone for whatever your needs might be.

As fall semester approaches and dorm room shopping begins, visit CollegiateParent's MarketPlace for fresh ideas and links to products we’re loving, what we can’t live without, and what we think is just way too fun not to share!

We participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and receive a small fee when purchases are made through links to and affiliated sites.

Ianni Le is a freelance writer and content creator. She attended the University of Colorado at Boulder, graduating with a degree in Media Design and English Literature. Ianni grew up in Shanghai, China and enjoys her dogs, books and food equally.
  • Dorm Shopping iPad

    We’re sharing our favorite dorm living tips and tricks to help your student create a home away from home.

    Click Here to Download

  • Find Your University

    Don't Miss Out!

    Get engaging stories and helpful information all year long. Join our college parent newsletter!

    Subscribe Today